What you might not know about Zika, the virus that caused an epidemic of microcephaly in Brazil, is that it’s a common condition that affects babies and young children, too.
Here’s a quick overview.
Zika is caused by a virus that can spread between humans, rodents and other animals, but it usually spreads only through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The only people who can transmit Zika are infected with the virus and can get it by touching a mosquito.
Zika has been linked to an increasing number of birth defects in the United States and other countries, but scientists have yet to prove that the virus causes the birth defects.
There’s a long history of studies that have looked at the genetic makeup of people with Zika, but so far, scientists haven’t been able to definitively determine the role that Zika plays in birth defects, including microceliac disease, a condition that has been diagnosed in children.
This story is part of the Kaiser Health News series “Zika Basics.”